A lot of people apparently look to me for Academy Awards info
You may be seeing people talking about “Klout” more and more these days. Lately it might be in a negative context as the people behind Klout have apparently adjusted their ranking system recently which caused quite a few people to have a horrible dip in their Klout.
(Kind of reminds me of back in the early Google days when page ranks would swing wildly after a new algorithm but read on … there is no real comparison between Klout and Google in terms of significance.)
What exactly is “Klout” and why should you care?
First things first … Klout is a company that bills itself as “The Standard for Influence”. They provide a “Klout Score” from 1 to 100 to each person by using a super-duper top-secret formula (they use the 10 cent word “algorithm”) that monitors the individual’s social network traffic (tweets, updates, postings, etc.) and how others respond to that individual across those social networks.
By feeding your tweet machine, your Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms and building your networks and engaging in dialogue and generally being active on social media, you can see watch your Klout go up, up, up! How exciting.
Let me repeat: how exciting.
To make it even more exciting, the powers that be at Klout provide badges for achievement levels reached so you can brag to your friends when you’ve hit a Klout score of 20, 30, 40, etc or are rolling in +K (don’t ask … really … please don’t ask). It kind of reminds me of computer games that give rewards for hitting certain acheivements. And that’s exactly what they are going for.
They want to create an addicting experience that keeps you coming back for more to feed the beast and “get to the next level”. In my opinion, they do a mediocre job of this and they really need to study Kongregate to learn from the masters. (Do yourself a favor and don’t click the link back there if you have even a semi-addictive personality.)
You might be asking at this point: what is the purpose of Klout? Well, my friend, *that* is the essence of the matter and sadly the answer is ambiguous at best.
According to the Klout FAQ page, Klout “measures influence online” and can be used as follows:
- Klout helps you understand your influence and how to leverage it.
- Benchmark your success, understand who you influence, and discover who to trust in the topics you care about.
- Earn Klout Perks: exclusive access to products and experiences from top brands.
- Put your Klout Score on your resume to land a sweet job or use it to get better customer service.
(don’t mind the fact the bullet points don’t use consistent style … I guess it’s part of the exciting Klout mystique)
After reading those four fluff-laden bullet points, you might STILL be asking yourself: what is the purpose of Klout?
Are you jelly?
My opinion is that it is primarily a game for professionals to use to brag about how influential they are to other professionals. I don’t know a single person who uses it for anything other than to state the equivalent of “my Klout is bigger than your Klout”.
It’s a silly – and, for some, addicting – game.
For now anyway. It might change as they continue to evolve. I would certainly expect that if the people behind Klout want to make money with it in the long run, they will need to find it a true, value-add purpose fairly soon.
Maybe you disagree and have some examples of how Klout can be used for something valuable? Please post a comment and let me know – I’m sure a lot of folks would love to hear it.
In the meantime, I’m going to go back to interacting with folks on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn that post and tweet interesting things – irrespective of their Klout score.
PS. For anyone applying to a job at my company, putting a Klout score on your resume will get it tossed in the circular file immediately. Consider that a friendly heads up.